Canada Extends the Victorian Age

On April 17, 2016, my mother Victoria Billingsley passed away at the age of 94. Today (April 17, 2024) she received a letter from Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare about “the recent cyber incident affecting local hospitals in the Southwest Ontario region,” including approximately 46,000 patients of Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare. As the letter explains:

We can confirm that, unfortunately, you were included in this group and some of the personal health information that you provided to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare was stolen by cyber criminals. Based on our analysis of these files, we believe the following information of yours was included in the stolen data: Date of Birth, Personal Health Information, OHIP/Health Card Number.

We would like to emphasize that the perpetrators of this attack did not gain access to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare’s electronic medical record (EMR) system, and this attack did not result in the full theft of all of your personal health information

We recognize that this incident may have shaken your trust in us, and we are focused on earning it back. We are, and always have been, dedicated to the security of your information. We will continue to reinforce that through improved security and training. We have rebuilt our systems to ensure that the perpetrators of this attack and their malware were removed. We have also made substantial improvements to our cybersecurty and network architecture. We have emerged stronger and safer from this.

We are focused on accountability We promptly reported the incident to the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Ontario (IPC). The IPC has opened an investigation file, and while you are entitled to file a complaint, the IPC has advised that it is not necessary as they are already investigating the matter.

And so on, confirming that government monopoly health care, what some persist in calling “socialized medicine,” is not immune to a “cyber incident.” I can imagine what my mother, a teacher, would have said about it.

In the early days of rock and roll, parents down the street would say, “Timmy, turn down that damn noisy junk!” My mother calmly told me, “that music is strident and cacophonous.” On the eighth anniversary of her departure, her great grandson Henry texted “rest in peace Victoria.”

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